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Tory rebels demand vote on final Brexit deal among raft of EU bill amendments

Emilio Casalicchio

2 min read

Angry Conservative rebels today launched an attempt to force a vote in parliament on the final trade deal the Government strikes with the European Union.

A pack of nine Tory MPs led by Queen's Counsel Dominic Grieve have put their names to an amendment on the European Union (Withdrawal) bill, which passed its second reading stage early this morning.

Mr Grieve is backed by groups of between nine and twelve europhile Tories in a total of sixteen proposed amendments intended to water down the controversial bill.

Some are aimed at restricting ministers from using so-called Henry VIII powers that would give them licence to repeal or change aspects of the law at a later date without MPs’ approval.

One says it would “require the final deal with the EU to be approved by statute passed by Parliament”.

It is backed by - among others - former ministers Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry.

Former attorney general Mr Grieve told the Sun there would have to be an act of parliament when Britain finally quits the bloc and ministers may as well “face up to it now”.

He added: "These amendments haven't just been put down to tease the Government - they are there for serious consideration."

The bill passed in the small hours without any Tory rebels voting against it – but some have threatened to at the third reading stage unless changes are made.

Labour meanwhile has tabled its own series of amendments aimed at curbing Henry VIII powers and ensuring devolved powers returning from the EU go to the administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Other parties and backbenchers have tabled their own amendments – including one demanding a vote for parliament on the so-called Brexit ‘divorce bill’.

Labour whipped its MPs to vote against the second reading last night but some seven MPs rebelled and a further eight abstained. 

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